1. When we know about the future we normally use the present tense.

  • We use the present simple for something scheduled or arranged:

We have a lesson next Monday.
The train arrives at 6.30 in the morning.
The holidays start next week.
It is my birthday tomorrow.

  • We can use the present continuous for plans or arrangements:

I’m playing football tomorrow.
They are coming to see us tomorrow.
We’re having a party at Christmas.

2. We use will to talk about the future:

  • When we make predictions:

It will be a nice day tomorrow.
I think Brazil will win the World Cup.
I’m sure you will enjoy the film.

  • To mean want to or be willing to:

I hope you will come to my party.
George says he will help us.

  • To make offers and promises:

I'll see you tomorrow.
We'll send you an email.

  • To talk about offers and promises:

Tim will be at the meeting.
Mary will help with the cooking.

3. We use (be) going to:

  • To talk about plans and intentions:

I’m going to drive to work today.
They are going to move to Manchester.

  • When we can see that something is likely to happen:

Be careful! You are going to fall.
Look at those black clouds. I think it’s going to rain.


4. We often use verbs like would like, plan, want, mean, hope, expect to talk about the future:

What are you going to do next year? I’d like to go to University.
We plan to go to France for our holidays.
George wants to buy a new car.

5. We use modals may, might, and could when we are not sure about the future:

I might stay at home tonight, or I might go to the cinema.
We could see Mary at the meeting. She sometimes goes.

6. We can use should if we think something is likely to happen:

We should be home in time for tea.
The game should be over by eight o’clock.

7. Clauses with time words:

In clauses with time words like when, after, and until we often use a present tense form to talk about the future:

I’ll come home when I finish work.
You must wait here until your father comes.
They are coming after they have had dinner.

8. Clauses with if:

In clauses with if we often use a present tense form to talk about the future:

We won’t be able to go out if it rains.
If Barcelona win tomorrow they will be champions.

WARNING: We do not normally use will in clauses with if or with time words:

I’ll come home when I will finish work.
We won’t be able to go out if it will rain rains.

But we can use will if it means a promise or offer:

I will be very happy if you will come to my party.
We should finish the job early if George will help us.

9. We can use the future continuous instead of the present continuous or going to for emphasis when we are talking about plans, arrangements and intentions:

They’ll be coming to see us next week.
I will be driving to work tomorrow.

 

 

Exercise

Section: 

Comments

Hello!

I don't see the difference between P.C. and going to, as they both are used for plans.

You wrote these two examples:

"I'm playing football tomorrow."
"I'm going to drive to work today."

Those both are plans you have. Why do we use P.C. in one and Going to in the other? Would it be wrong to say I'm going to play football tomorrow or I'm driving to work today?

Thank you

Hi ann22u,

There isn't always a difference between the present continuous and 'be going to' when talking about plans, so yes, the sentences you proposed are fine. When speaking about fixed future plans, i.e. plans that are already arranged in some way, the present continuous is sometimes used to indicate that the plan is fixed or arranged.

For example, if you're going away next weekend and have a reservation at the Ritz Hotel, saying 'I'm staying at the Ritz' and 'I'm going to stay at the Ritz' are both correct, but the first form (with present continuous) can imply that you already have a reservation there whereas the second one doesn't clearly indicate this. You could still say 'I'm going to stay' even if you have a reservation, but the present continuous form communicates that arrangement more clearly than 'being going to'.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, Sir
I have read these examples about using shall
You shall be given a present if you stand first in the exam. (Promise)
Can I say you will be given a present if you stand first in the exam. As a promise too
And I know we use shall in suggestions
Like: shall we go?
But can I make a suggestion or offer like this:
Shall you go to the concert with us?
And this example about (Command) Students shall not enter this room.
Is that correct to ask this question (shall students enter this room?)
And if it’s not correct what is the correct Way?
Thank you, Sir

Hello sunrisereham,

Yes, you can use 'will' to make promises, too, just as in the sentence you wrote. In making suggestions, 'shall' is only used with first person subjects ('I' and 'we'), not with others like 'you'. Instead you could say 'Would you like to go to the concert with us?'.

'shall' isn't used in questions like the one you ask about, either. Instead you could say 'Can students enter this room?' (permission) or 'Are students permitted to enter this room?'

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you, Sir

hi
what is the meaning of feel strongly about something?

Hello chris kim,

'to feel strongly' means that you feel something very much. For example, if you feel very strongly that you should go and visit your grandmother, it means that you have an intense feeling that you should visit her.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, Sir is that correct to say Merry graduates from college next week and Merry will graduate next week and what is the difference between them please and also what the difference between I graduate Or I will graduate next week too because I think there is difference when I'm talking about their people plans and my plans
Thank you Sir

Hello sunrisereham,

The answers to these questions are on the page. We use the present simple when something is part of a fixed timetable, so that would be appropriate for a graduation, which happens on a fixed date. We can use 'will' when we are talking about something about which we are sure, so that is also possible. In other words, both of these are correct options and it is up to the speaker which one he or she uses.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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